Starting a new business means you will need to develop a public relations strategy that boosts your popularity while minimizing negative stories. If you haven’t worked in PR before, this may seem like an impossible task. Follow these three tips to make the most of every minute and dollar you invest in your startup’s PR campaigns.
Build Your Brand by Telling a Story
The most successful companies often build their brand identities by telling stories. For instance, Apple isn’t just known for building great computers and mobile devices. It’s known as a rebellious business started by one of the world’s smartest college dropouts. The company has an identity that gets shared through interviews and press releases. The story may seem organic, but it’s carefully crafted to attract intelligent consumers who don’t mind spending extra money on top products.
Your business already has a story. You just have to recognize it and make it attractive to other people. Find a few features that make your startup different from others. Build your brand’s story on those unique features while keeping your target market in mind.
Make a Crisis Plan Before You Need One
Image via Flickr by chmeredith
You never know when bad PR will affect your business. Maybe one of your employees will upload an insulting picture to Reddit, or one of your managers will tell off a customer in front of a dozen people holding smartphones. In this mobile-ready, social media-heavy world, you simply cannot predict when your business will become a target of unwanted publicity.
It’s best to develop a social media crisis plan so you can react quickly instead of taking a lot of time deciding how to handle the situation. The best media crisis plans usually:
Have designated spokespersons in charge of managing all messages.
Include prepares responses for potential scenarios.
Address customer concerns.
Give the impression of openness instead of defensiveness.
While you may need to tweak your social media crisis plan to match each situation, it certainly helps to have a basic strategy prepared before you need it.
Put Social Media at the Center of Your Efforts
The public relations industry has changed a lot over the last decade. Many of those changes come from the impact of social media. Today, consumers expect companies to connect with them online.
Smart companies will use social media for more than just telling customers about their locations and hours of operation. Facebook, Twitter, and other sites give businesses virtually unlimited ways to reach customers.
Research shows that small to medium-sized businesses dedicate nearly half of their marketing budgets to digital options. They use this money to increase ad visibility, encourage consumers to follow their profiles, and pay for expertly written content that will go viral. You still want to use traditional marketing venues, but you have to set aside resources for online options to help your company grow quickly.
What PR challenges concern you most as you think about starting a new business? Do you think these three tips will help you make the most of your company’s opportunities?